Last May CLEAR airport security raised its price from $179 to $189, however there was no change to Delta and United discount pricing.
CLEAR is a private, fee-based service that takes your biometrics and lets you identify yourself with your fingerprints or eye scan instead of showing an ID. At airports where they’re located you can then skip to the front of the security line – whether PreCheck or regular security.
Both Delta and United own a stake in CLEAR, and all you’ve needed was an account number with either to get a lower price and those with status paid less still. Now the airline discount is shrinking. An email went out to Delta SkyMiles members showing the change in pricing:
- General members: $179. They used to get a $60 discount. That discount is now $10.
- SkyMiles Amex cardmembers: $149. They used to get a $70 discount. That discount is now $40.
- Silver, Gol and Platinum members: $149. They used to get a $70 discount. That discount is now $40.
- Diamond members: Price remains $0.
With CLEAR’s $10 increase, American Express adjusted its statement credit benefit to compensate on all except the Green product. Changes in MileagePlus discounts are almost certain to track Delta changes.
You should think about both American Express and Delta discounts as merchant-funded offers. They needed to get CLEAR to scale, and have marketed to partner (and in Amex’s case, transitivie partner) customers. Eventually they’ve acquired the customers they’re going to reach and it no longer makes sense to do so at as deep a discount. Instead of going cold turkey and eliminating the discount, they’re gradually reducing it.
(HT: u/That-Establishment24 via Bill S.)